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Volunteer Info

The success of many of our recreation and environmental programs depends on the volunteer efforts of the members of our community. If you're looking for a way to make a difference, meet new people or expand a hobby, there are many different ways you can participate to match your skills or areas of interest.

How to Volunteer
View the volunteer opportunity descriptions to see what suits you best. Maybe you have an interest in helping others, want to learn more about the community or meet other friendly, helpful people. We welcome: 

  • Students age 16 and up with parent or guardian signature, ages 13-16 with parent or guardian supervision.  Volunteer hours may apply to service learning project hours for high school or college credit. 
  • Adults age 18 and up
  • Seniors
  • Groups – Corporations, non-profits, service organizations, etc.

    To volunteer as an individual, print and complete the Volunteer Application or Golf Volunteer Application and return it to
    volunteer@oakgov.com or:

Oakland County Parks
Volunteer Coordinator
2800 Watkins Lake Road
Waterford, MI 48328

Once received, we will contact you to discuss the potential of a volunteer placement. If an appropriate placement cannot be arranged at that time, we will keep your application on file up to one year. As opportunities become available, we will notify you.

To speak to a volunteer coordinator or schedule a group volunteer event, call 248.975.9717 or volunteer@oakgov.com.

Current Volunteers: Monthly Volunteer Time Sheet 


Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities:

Fridays and Saturdays – 30 minute time slots
Project Feeder Watch
Wint Nature Center
Project Feeder Watch is a citizen science program sponsored by the Cornel Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada. It provides information about birds using feeders throughout North American. Project feeder watch runs from November-March. Looking for experienced birders to watch the feeders at Independence for 20–30 minutes and track what they see. Volunteers can sign up for 30 minute slots on Fridays and Saturdays after a short training. Must record observations during nature center hours of operation. 

Year Round - 7 Days a Week
Dog Park Ambassador
Volunteers will serve as an onsite resource for park patrons at Lyon Oaks, Orion Oaks and Red Oaks dog parks.  Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older.

January – March
(January 10, 17, 24, 31; February 14, 21, 28 and March 7, 14, 21, 28)
Saturday Sports Special
9:30am – 11am
The Boys & Girls Club – Royal Oak
This program is designed for all children with disabilities between the ages of 6 – 18.  Volunteers will run the activities which include parachute games, floor hockey, kickball, scooters, basketball and more!

Sunday March 8
Nest Box Monitor Training
Independence Oaks – Wint Nature Center
2pm – 4pm
This is a training session for Nest Box Monitors.  Monitors are assigned nest boxes at parks to visit weekly or more often if needed from April – July.  Observe and record activity in nest box and complete form provided.  Follows protocols established by NestWatch/Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  Submit records to park staff at the end of the summer.

Friday March 13
Frog Survey Training
Independence Oaks – Wint Nature Center
7pm – 9pm
This is a training session for Frog Survey volunteers.  Frog Survey volunteers are required to learn the calls of Michigan frogs.  The night survey work is schedule based on the weather and is done monthly in April, May and June.  Volunteers are contacted via email and those that respond, will meet staff at a pre-arranged location.  Surveys start after sunset and last approximately 2 hours.

Friday, April 3
Marshmallow Drop
Catalpa Oaks - 27705 Greenfield Road, Southfield, MI
Volunteers needed:
6 for parking at 8 a.m.
120 for the event at 8:30 a.m.
Volunteers will assist with the prize tent, marshmallow marshal, parking and clean-up. Oakland County Parks uses a helicopter to drop 10,000 marshmallows into the park for the participants to collect and exchange for a goodie bag!  

Volunteer Opportunities throughout the parks system

Adaptive Recreation
Assist in hosting special, sport and social events for individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities, seniors and veterans.  Activities include special events, socials, tours, teaching and adapting sports skills for individuals with disabilities.

Bicycle Motocross (BMX @ Waterford Oaks)
Track maintenance begins in April. Assist in the weekly operation of BMX by providing technical assistance at practices and races. Duties include bike inspection, registration, scoring, staging, corner marshaling, and concessions.

Campground Hosts and Labor
Assist campers by answering questions, explaining the rules in a pleasant and helpful manner, providing directions and assisting with check-in.  Volunteers may also help with maintaining flower beds and monitoring restrooms for cleanliness.

Campground Recreation 
Memorial Day-Labor Day
Assist with activities including arts and crafts, DJ dances, face painting, games, etc. for campers at Addison and Groveland Oaks. Theme weekends include carnival, comedy fun day, July 4th festivities, blues bash and boo bash. Also volunteer to help set up, implement and clean up one-day special events. 

Dog Park Ambassadors (Lyon Oaks, Orion Oaks & Red Oaks)
Become and ambassador and answer visitors’ general questions, distribute park materials, and report concerns or comments to park management.  Gatekeepers sign up for shifts to support customer service and park security.  Other opportunities include assisting with one-day special events and annual clean-up days at three dog parks.

Golf Courses and Programs
Starters, rangers, cart attendants and pro shop/phones assist at five golf courses. Assist with tournaments, leagues, and special events.  

Nature Centers
Assist in supporting the efforts of nature center staff by greeting Nature Center guests, caring for captive animals, assisting with nature education programs, scout days and trail walks, preparing program and craft supplies, or maintaining outdoor gardens.

Natural Resources Stewardship
Assist natural area management by participating in annual cleanup days, invasive plant control activities, monitoring bluebird nestboxes, or conducting Citizen Science Surveys on seasonal wildlife activities, including frog counts, grassland bird counts, and butterfly counts. 

Be the eyes and ears of the Parks trails by using a formal reporting and tracking process while you enjoy the outdoors as you patrol park trails on foot.  Promote safe and proper use of the trails by providing information to visitors on Park rules and policies. 

Special Events
Assist with one-day events throughout the year including Fire & Ice winter festival, the springtime Marshmallow Drop at Catalpa Oaks, mountain bike races, fishing events, County Market events, or Boo Bash and Haunted Hallows events in the fall.

Other Volunteer Opportunities

Water Resources Commissioner's Office
Assist with Adopt-a-Stream (stream monitoring and clean-ups), and cooperative lakes monitoring. 248.858.0958

Master Gardener Volunteer Program
The Michigan Master Gardener Volunteer Program is a horticulture education and volunteer leader training program offered by Michigan State University Extension in Oakland County. An interest in plants, a personal commitment to volunteerism and an enthusiasm for sharing knowledge with others are the only prerequisites for application. Applicants attend classes learning basic horticultural principles and environmentally sound gardening practices. They then provide a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer service to their community. Oakland County offers a daytime session in the fall (August-November) or an evening session in the winter (January-April). Each session is 13 weeks and held in Waterford. Linda Smith: 248.858.0887

Volunteer Podcast